Connect with us

Featured Articles

BERNARD HOPKINS: “Yes, There Can Be Oversaturation”

Published

on

Bernard Hopkins is one of my very favorite fighters ever. He’s also one of my least favorite interview subjects. I find him needlessly combative and achingly discursive. Moreover, he has a way of talking down to you as if you’ve never watched a prizefight in your life, and that’s something I haven’t encountered in any other professional prizefighter I’ve ever interviewed. Still, Hopkins does offer some good insight here and there, and such was the case last week.

Hopkins, a partner at Golden Boy Promotions since 2005, said he believes the current boxing TV landscape is oversaturated. Take that with a grain of salt, of course. That’s a term I’ve heard so much recently that I almost believe it to be a talking point agreed to and distributed via power point presentation to everyone who is a direct competitor to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series.

Still, when Hopkins speaks, I listen.

“I think there can be too much junk—less action and fights that people don’t really care about. Yes, there can be oversaturation.”

Hopkins said the key to making interesting and compelling matchups was simple: the best fighters fighting the best. Yes, that’s a bit of promoter speak but coming from Hopkins, a man who heedlessly trudged into the deepest waters during his long and successful boxing career, the words seem to carry a significant amount of weight.

“I believe people will watch anything that they like and that there’s suspense about. You only get those things when you match the fighters the way they need to be matched.”

To Hopkins’ eyes, the bread and butter of Golden Boy Promotions is matching fighters exactly that way. He pointed to the upcoming bout between Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto as evidence of it, and said his employer sincerely wants to make the very best fights in boxing.

“You can always tell when you put two guys together who are going to fight. Canelo-Cotto is a good fight. The way they fight and the way they are: This is going to go down, and that’s the kind of fight we all want to see.”

Still, Hopkins and Golden Boy Promotions, along with the rest of the old guard in boxing, have been forced off of most TV stations thanks to Haymon’s PBC series. Golden Boy Promotions currently has a lawsuit pending against Haymon, as does Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotional company.

Hopkins referred to PBC as “premier or whatever” and said he’d leave it to fans to decide whether it was a worthwhile venture. For his part, he would be focusing on making fights at Golden Boy.

“We really need to do less talking and just show more good fights, and the fans and the reporters both the biased and the non-biased ones, will be able to say to themselves ‘you know what I got to take my hat off to them; they’re doing a good job.’”

Hopkins was happy with the work Golden Boy had done so far in 2015, but said the work had just begun.

“But it’s only the honeymoon stages of doing what we’ve been saying we’re going to do for the last six or seven months. Now, we’re trying to get these fights to happen and we’re trying to get other promoters or advisors or whatever it is they call themselves [to do the same thing].”

Hopkins said Golden Boy was happy to work with anyone to make the best fights happen. He pointed to recent promotions with Top Rank and pending promotions with Roc Nation as evidence of Golden Boy’s willingness to make the best fights possible.

“If we can make the fight, we will make the fight. We’re putting pressure on those who want to cherry-pick and want to get all of the revenue [without fighting the best].”

Hopkins said the fighters of today, unlike those of the previous era, are more concerned about making money than securing their legacies. He said the previous era, led by himself, De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad, was better for the sport, and said part of his task at Golden Boy was leading young fighters to the right way for thinking.

“If you’re the guy in the division and you aren’t fighting the guy in your division that everyone wants to see you fight….is it legacy over money or is it money over legacy? Some I don’t think care about legacy.”

In Hopkins last fight, he was soundly defeated in a light heavyweight title unification fight by Sergey Kovalev. Hopkins, age 50, said younger fighters could learn much from his audacious attempt to usurp perhaps the scariest light heavyweight of the last 20 years.

“I have no regrets. It’s in my DNA, man. Sugar Shane, Oscar, Trinidad and I were the last of a dying breed. Things have changed.”

Hopkin said part of his role at Golden Boy was helping young fighters understand the importance of building a legacy. If you’ve ever had a chat with Hopkins, you know he’s the naturally pedantic sort who attempts to disperse his knowledge to anyone who will listen.

“You want to build your legacy. Money will come. The money will be there but then you will have the strength of both. If you aren’t wise with your money, the money will go and if you never had a legacy then nobody will even know you were ever there.”

He’s fit for his role. For all his subtle jabs and insults, Hopkins still doubles down on giving advice in every interview I’ve ever had with him. And fighters in the Golden Boy stable, for better or worse, have one of the greatest fighters ever in their corner, one who genuinely seems to have their best interests at heart.

“I love helping fighters. If they’re in the Golden Boy family, I’m there.”

WATCH RELATED VIDEOS ON BOXINGCHANNEL.TV

Featured Articles

Christian Mbilli has the Wow Factor: Dismisses Mark Heffron in 40 Seconds

Published

on

Christian-Mbilli-has-the-Wow-Factor-Dismisses-Mark-Heffron-in-40-Seconds

Christian Mbilli has the Wow Factor: Dismisses Mark Heffron in 40 Seconds

The Gervais Auto Center in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada, roughly 100 miles south of Montreal, hosted tonight’s card on ESPN+, a co-promotion of Camille Estephan’s Eye of the Tiger Promotions and Bob Arum’s Top Rank. Arum wasn’t there; he was in Leeds, England, but the outcome would have mitigated his aggravation at seeing his fighter Josh Taylor fall short earlier in the day.

Super middleweight Christian Mbilli, of whom Arum owns a piece, needed only 40 seconds to conquer British import Mark Heffron who, on paper, was a very credible opponent. Mbilli backed Heffron into the ropes and collapsed him with a left hook that landed under his rib cage. Heffron, 30-3-1 heading in with 24 KOs, went down on all fours and was counted out. The contest was over almost before it began.

The Cameroon-born Mbilli, a 2016 Olympian for France who turned pro in Montreal, is ranked #2 by the WBC and WBA; #3 by the IBF and WBO. With the victory, he advanced his record to 27-0 (23 KOs). His next fight will reportedly come in August with rugged but battle-blistered Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the opposite corner. Mbilli has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez, but has scant chance of landing it. At this juncture of his career, the red-headed Mexican undoubtedly wants less daunting assignments.

Co-Feature

Arslanbek Makhmudov, the Russian Lion, rebounded from his poor performance against Agit Kabayel with a second-round stoppage of sacrificial lamb Milan Rovcanin. Makhmudov (19-1, 18 KOs) knocked Rovcanin to the canvas with an overhand right in the opening round. The punch knocked Rovcanin sideways, his head resting on the ring apron. To Rovcanin’s credit, he beat the count and launched a futile offensive after he arose. A similar punch ended the brief bout at the 2:32 mark of the next frame.

Makhmudov is certainly heavy-handed, but he moves at a glacial pace and would be up-against-it against a world-class opponent with faster hands and better footwork. Rovcanin, who had  been feasting on fourth-raters in his native Serbia, declined to 27-4.

Other Bouts of Note

In a bout contested at the catch-weight of 178 pounds, Montreal-based Mehmet Unal, a 31-year-old former Olympian for Turkey, scored the best win of his career with a fourth-round stoppage of 34-year-old Laredo, Texas campaigner Rodolfo Gomez.

Gomez, routinely matched tough and better than his record (14-7-3 heading in), protested loudly when the referee waived it off, but his corner stood poised to throw in the towel. He hadn’t previously been stopped, let alone knocked off his feet. Unal improved to 10-0 (8 KOs).

Super middleweight Mereno Fendero, a 24-year old French Army veteran, improved to 6-0 (4) with a six-round decision over 38-year-old Argentine journeyman Rolando Mansilla (19-15-1). Fendero won every round on all three cards including a 10-8 round on one of the cards although there were no knockdowns. Although badly out-classed, the teak-tough Mansilla, a glutton for punishment, earned his pay.

Local prospect Alexandre Gaumont, a middleweight, improved to 11-0 (7) with an unpopular 8-round split decision over Argentina’s Santiago Fernandez (8-1-1). Two of the judges gave Gaumont six rounds, ridiculed as home town bias, with the other awarding five rounds to the Argentine who received a loud ovation as he left the ring.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Sweet Revenge for the ‘Cat’: Catterall Outpoints Taylor in a Fan-Friendly Fight

Published

on

Sweet-Revenge-for-the-Cat-Catterall-Outpoints-Taylor-in-a-Fan-Friendly-Fight

Former unified junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall renewed acquaintances tonight in a sold-out arena in Leeds, England. Their first bout 27 months ago in Glasgow ended in favor of Taylor, a controversial winner by split decision as most felt that Catterall was robbed. Tonight, the Cat, as he is nicknamed, turned the tables, winning a unanimous decision in a 12-round non-title fight that was more entertaining than their first encounter.

Catterall, who closed a short favorite, came out fast and was plainly ahead at the mid-point of the fight. But Taylor closed the gap and on unofficial scorecards it was an even fight after 10 frames. Then, in the 11th, shortly after the referee halted the action to warn the fighters about something, Catterall turned the tide back in his favor, stunning Taylor with a looping left hand coming out of the break. Seconds later, both fighters went down in a heap in front of a corner post.

Both fighters were marked-up at the finish, more so Taylor who ended the fight with his right eye swollen and nearly closed shut.

A draw would not have been unreasonable, but two of the judges gave Jack Catterall nine rounds (117-111) and the other had it 7-4-1 (116-113).

In his post-fight interview, Eddie Hearn, Catterall’s promoter, conceded that the scores were too wide but opined that the right guy won. Few would disagree, but co-promoter Bob Arum had a different take. “Those scores were a disgrace,” he said, taking the microphone. “I feel sorry for Josh. I thought he won the fight….”

In avenging his lone defeat, Catterall improved to 29-1 (13). It was second straight loss for Taylor (19-2) who had been inactive since losing his unified title to Teofimo Lopez.

A rubber match would be welcome.

Semi Wind-up

In the chief supporting bout, Cheavon Clarke improved to 9-0 (7 KOs) with an eighth-round stoppage of Ellis Zorro. Clarke, who represented both his native Jamaica and England in international amateur competitions, won the BBBoC British cruiserweight title.

This fight didn’t provide a lot of action. The humdrum ended in the waning seconds of round eight when Clarke nailed Zorro with a chopping right hand. He seized the moment, swarming after Zorro, and chopped him down with a series of punches. None appeared to land very cleanly, but Zorro was counted out with a mere second remaining in the round. It was his second straight defeat after opening his career with 17-0. In his previous bout, Zorro was blasted out in the opening round by Jai Opetaia.

Clarke, 33, is eyeing the winner of the forthcoming fight in London between WBO cruiserweight champion Chris Billam-Smith and Richard Riakporhe.

Also

Welterweight Paddy Donovan, a Traveler from Limerick, Ireland, advanced to 14-0 (11 KOs) with a ninth-round stoppage of former British lightweight champion Lewis Ritson (25-4).

Donovan, trained by former middleweight titlist Andy Lee, fought off his back foot for the first seven rounds as Ritson forced the pace. He changed tactics in round eight which was a strong round for him and then closed the show in the ninth. A series of punches had Ritson plainly hurt and the referee stepped in after 32 seconds and waved it off. It was Donovan’s fifth straight win inside the distance.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Okolie Demolishes Rozanski to Jump-Start a Busy Boxing Weekend

Published

on

Okolie-Demolishes-Rozanski-to-Jump-Start-a-Busy-Boxing-Weekend

The weekend boxing activity got underway today in Rzesnow. Poland where, to the dismay of the locals, Lukasz Rozanski, was blown away in the opening round by UK invader Lawrence Okolie. Heading in, the Pole was 15-0 with 14 knockouts, was coming off back-to-back first-round stoppages, and had never fought beyond the fourth round. And he was a world champion of sorts, making the first defense of his WBC bridgerweight title.

Okolie (20-1, 15 KOs) knocked him down hard on the seat of his pants with a straight right hand, the first of three knockdowns. The final knockdown was the result of a combination that knocked Rozanski to his knees with his head landing outside the ropes. There were only seconds to go in the round, but when Rozanski arose on unsteady legs, the referee properly waived it off. At age 38, his first career loss may also mark the end of his career.

A 2016 Olympian co-managed by Anthony Joshua, Okolie (pictured) was making his first start with trainer Joe Gallagher after previously working under Shane McGuigan and SugarHill Steward and his first start since losing his WBO cruiserweight title to Chris Billam-Smith.  At six-foot-five and with an 82-inch reach, the 31-year-old Londoner is a very interesting specimen. His stated goal when he turned pro was to unify the cruiserweight division before moving up to heavyweight.

Had Rozanski won, there was talk of him fighting Badou Jack. The guess is this may be Okolie’s first and last fight at bridgerweight (under 225), a division recognized only by the WBC which invented it. (The WBA is poised to follow its lead. The WBA board of directors recently approved the addition of a super cruiserweight weight class.)

Saturday

The action tomorrow in regard to major fights begins at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen where the Fighting Dane, Dina Thorslund (21-0, 9 KOs), defends her WBC/WBO female world bantamweight title against Turkey’s Seren Cetin (11-0, 7 KOs). Thorslund, whose name appears on many pound-for-pound lists, is appearing in her 11th world title fight.

The marquee event takes place in the late afternoon (USA time) in Leeds, England, where Josh Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) clashes with Jack Catterall (28-1, 13 KOs) in an eagerly-anticipated and twice-delayed rematch. Catterall will be seeking to avenge his lone defeat.

Their first encounter took place in February 2022 on Taylor’s turf in Glasgow, Scotland. Taylor won a split decision. To say that it was controversial would be putting it mildly. One pundit called it the biggest robbery in British boxing history. At stake was Taylor’s unified welterweight title which he would lose in his next outing when he was upset by Teofimo Lopez.

Catterall has fought twice since that night in Glasgow, most recently scoring a 12-round decision over globetrotter Jorge Linares who announced his retirement after the match. This is Taylor’s first ring outing since the Teofimo fight in New York. He and Catterall have engaged in a nasty war of words since their first encounter and the match – televised live exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ and around the world on DAZN — is an advance sellout. Check local listings for start times.

There’s been steady money on Catterall today and, if the odds hold up, Josh Taylor will assume the role of an underdog for the first time in his career.

Lastly

We’re back to ESPN+ again for a show in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada, a co-promotion between Eye of the Tiger and Top Rank.

In the featured bout, Christian Mbilli (26-0, 22 KOs) meets England’s Mark Heffron (30-3-1, 24 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight contest.

The Cameroon-born Mbilli, a 2016 Olympian for France who turned pro in Montreal, is ranked #2 by the WBC and WBA; #3 by the IBF and WBO.

In the co-feature, heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov, the Russian Lion, returns to the ring looking to rebuild a reputation that was badly tarnished last December when he was manhandled by underdog Agit Kabayel in Saudi Arabia. Makhmudov (18-1, 17 KOs) opposes no-hoper Milan Rovcanin (27-3, 18 KOs) who has been feasting on fourth-raters in his native Serbia. The TV portion of this Saturday Night card has a scheduled starting time of 7 pm ET/4 pm PT.

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Ramirez-Outpoints-Barthelemy-and-Vergil-Ortiz-Scores-Another-Fast-KO-in-Fresno
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Ramirez Outpoints Barthelemy and Vergil Ortiz Scores Another Fast KO in Fresno

A-Closer-look-at-Weslaco-Heartbreaker-Brandon-Figueroa-and-an-Early-Peek-at-Inoue-vs-Nery
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

A Closer Look at Weslaco ‘Heartbreaker’ Brandon Figueroa and an Early Peek at Inoue vs Nery

Luis-Nery-is-Devoured-by-a-Monster-in-Tokyo-Naoya-Inoue-KO-6
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Luis Nery is Devoured by a Monster in Tokyo: Naoya Inoue KO 6

Canelo-Alvarez-Turns-Away-Jaime-Munguia-to-Remain-Undisputed-King-at-168
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Canelo Alvarez Turns Away Jaime Munguia to Remain Undisputed King at 168

Philadelphia's-K-&-A-Boxing-Club-and-the-return-of-Carto-and-Boots
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Philadelphia’s K & A Boxing Club plus the return of Carto & Boots

At-Long-Last-Marvelous-Marvin-Hagler-to-Finally-Get-His-Statue-in-the-City-of-Champions
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

At Long Last: Marvelous Marvin Hagler to Finally Get His Statue in the ‘City of Champions’

Avila-Perspective-Chap-283-Canelo-and-Munguia-Battle-for-Mexico-and-More-Fight-News
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 283: Canelo and Munguia Battle for Mexico and More Fight News

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-The-Ryan-Garcia-PED-Rumple-and-More
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: The Ryan Garcia PED Rumple and More

Thomas-Hauser's-Literary-Notes-Dave-Kindred-and-Robert-Seltzer
Book Review2 weeks ago

Thomas Hauser’s Literary Notes: Dave Kindred and Robert Seltzer

Lauren-Price-Outclasses-Jessica-McCaskill-in-Cardiffl-Edwards-and-Fury-Win-Too
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Lauren Price Outclasses Jessica McCaskill in Cardiff; Edwards and Fury Win Too

A-Closer-Look-at-Elite-Boxing-Trainer-and-2024-Hall-of-Fame-Inductee-Kenny-Adams
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Closer Look at Elite Boxing Trainer and 2024 Hall of Fame Inductee Kenny Adams

Avila-Perspective-Chap-284-Tyson-Fury-Oleksandr-Usyk-and-Much-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 284: Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and Much More

Another-Victory-for-Ukraine-as-Berinchyk-Upsets-Navarrete-in-San-Diego
Featured Articles1 week ago

Another Victory for Ukraine as Berinchyk Upsets Navarrete in San Diego

Lomachenko-Turns-in-a-Vintage-Performance-Stops-Kambosos-in-the-11th
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Lomachenko Turns in a Vintage Performance; Stops Kambosos in the 11th

Mielnicki-Ramos-and-Scull-Victorious-on-Cinco-de-Mayo-Weekend-in-Las-Vegas
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Mielnicki, Ramos and Scull Victorious on Cinco de Mayo Weekend in Las Vegas

Fury-Usyk-Who-Wins-and-Why-The-Official-TSS-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Fury vs. Usyk: Who Wins and Why? – The Official TSS Prediction Page

Oleksandr-Usyk-from-a-Historical-Perspective
Featured Articles6 days ago

Oleksandr Usyk from a Historical Perspective 

TSS-News-Wire-Jermall-Charlo-Defrocked-Ryan-Garcia-Partially-Vindicated
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

TSS News Wire: Jarmall Charlo Defrocked; Ryan Garcia Partially Vindicated

Undisputed-Usyk-Defeats-Fury-Plua-Undercard-Results-from-Riyadh
Featured Articles1 week ago

UNDISPUTED ! – Usyk Defeats Fury ! – Plus Undercard Results from Riyadh

Will-Kabayel-vs-Sanchez-Prove-to-be-the-Best-Heavyweight-Fight-This-Weekend?
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Will Kabayel vs Sanchez Prove to be the Best Heavyweight Fight This Weekend?

Christian-Mbilli-has-the-Wow-Factor-Dismisses-Mark-Heffron-in-40-Seconds
Featured Articles1 day ago

Christian Mbilli has the Wow Factor: Dismisses Mark Heffron in 40 Seconds

Sweet-Revenge-for-the-Cat-Catterall-Outpoints-Taylor-in-a-Fan-Friendly-Fight
Featured Articles1 day ago

Sweet Revenge for the ‘Cat’: Catterall Outpoints Taylor in a Fan-Friendly Fight

Okolie-Demolishes-Rozanski-to-Jump-Start-a-Busy-Boxing-Weekend
Featured Articles2 days ago

Okolie Demolishes Rozanski to Jump-Start a Busy Boxing Weekend

How-Soon-Before-We-Know-the-Fate-of-Ryan-Garcia-and-Will-the-Result-Stand?
Featured Articles3 days ago

How Soon Before We Know the Fate of Ryan Garcia and Will the Result Stand?

In-a-One-Sided-Beatdown-Batyr-Jukenbayev-TKOs-Shopworn-Ivan-Redkach
Featured Articles4 days ago

In a One-Sided Beatdown, Batyr Jukembayev TKOs Shopworn Ivan Redkach

Oleksandr-Usyk-from-a-Historical-Perspective
Featured Articles6 days ago

Oleksandr Usyk from a Historical Perspective 

Another-Victory-for-Ukraine-as-Berinchyk-Upsets-Navarrete-in-San-Diego
Featured Articles1 week ago

Another Victory for Ukraine as Berinchyk Upsets Navarrete in San Diego

Undisputed-Usyk-Defeats-Fury-Plua-Undercard-Results-from-Riyadh
Featured Articles1 week ago

UNDISPUTED ! – Usyk Defeats Fury ! – Plus Undercard Results from Riyadh

Avila-Perspective-Chap-284-Tyson-Fury-Oleksandr-Usyk-and-Much-More
Featured Articles1 week ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 284: Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and Much More

At-Long-Last-Marvelous-Marvin-Hagler-to-Finally-Get-His-Statue-in-the-City-of-Champions
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

At Long Last: Marvelous Marvin Hagler to Finally Get His Statue in the ‘City of Champions’

Fury-Usyk-Who-Wins-and-Why-The-Official-TSS-Prediction-Page
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Fury vs. Usyk: Who Wins and Why? – The Official TSS Prediction Page

Will-Kabayel-vs-Sanchez-Prove-to-be-the-Best-Heavyweight-Fight-This-Weekend?
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Will Kabayel vs Sanchez Prove to be the Best Heavyweight Fight This Weekend?

Thomas-Hauser's-Literary-Notes-Dave-Kindred-and-Robert-Seltzer
Book Review2 weeks ago

Thomas Hauser’s Literary Notes: Dave Kindred and Robert Seltzer

Lomachenko-Turns-in-a-Vintage-Performance-Stops-Kambosos-in-the-11th
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Lomachenko Turns in a Vintage Performance; Stops Kambosos in the 11th

Lauren-Price-Outclasses-Jessica-McCaskill-in-Cardiffl-Edwards-and-Fury-Win-Too
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Lauren Price Outclasses Jessica McCaskill in Cardiff; Edwards and Fury Win Too

A-Closer-Look-at-Elite-Boxing-Trainer-and-2024-Hall-of-Fame-Inductee-Kenny-Adams
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

A Closer Look at Elite Boxing Trainer and 2024 Hall of Fame Inductee Kenny Adams

Philadelphia's-K-&-A-Boxing-Club-and-the-return-of-Carto-and-Boots
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Philadelphia’s K & A Boxing Club plus the return of Carto & Boots

Lipinets-Upends-Davies-in-a-Wednesday-Night-Firefight-in-Florida
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Lipinets Upends Davies in a Wednesday Night Firefight in Florida

TSS-News-Wire-Jermall-Charlo-Defrocked-Ryan-Garcia-Partially-Vindicated
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

TSS News Wire: Jarmall Charlo Defrocked; Ryan Garcia Partially Vindicated

Luis-Nery-is-Devoured-by-a-Monster-in-Tokyo-Naoya-Inoue-KO-6
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Luis Nery is Devoured by a Monster in Tokyo: Naoya Inoue KO 6

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement